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Hetch Hetchy Debate

This explains the pros and cons about the removal of the O'Shaughnessy Dam

Meghan Bahr

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of Hetch Hetchy Debate

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Should the O'Shaughnessy Dam stay or go? Arguments: Restore the Valley Save the dam Key points Arguments: View on Proposition F Key Points: View on Proposition F They ranked last in California in water recycling - we recycle 0% of our water Where is the O'Shaughnessy Dam? Merced, California Northwest corner of Yosemite National Park The Tuolumne River fills the reservoir Is a glacial valley What is the debate, exactly? Believe that:
The dam should be
removed in order to restore
the Hetch Hetchy Valley
to its original state for Yosemite Park. Works Cited "About Restore Hetch Hetchy." Restore Hetch Hetchy, Yosemite National Park.
Restore Hetch Hetchy, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. What do you think!? Is it worth the money to pursue the removal? Could those funds go somewhere more environmentally constructive? about 65 miles Northeast Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley VS Save the O'Shaughnessy Dam Believe that:
The dam is vital to
California's water use and
must remain to serve this purpose. Will we find reliable replacements for hydro-electric energy? The San Francisco Foundation, Dignity Health, and Bay Area Council. "Beware of the
'Yosemite Restoration', A Hoax." Save Hetch Hetchy: Vote NO on Proposition F. Save
Hetch Hetchy, No on F, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. What was Proposition F? Water and Environment Plan for San Francisco County "Water and Environment Plan." Proposition F. League of Women Voters of California Education Fund,
17 Dec. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. Majority Approval Required The proposal would require the city to prepare a two-phase plan that evaluates how to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir so that it can be restored by the National Park Service and identifies replacement water and power sources. Phase One Phase Two Discover:
1. new water supply and storage options

2. additional water conservation opportunities

3. expanded water filtration facilities

4. additional renewable energy sources to replace the reductions in hydroelectric power resulting from draining the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. How to:
1. drain the Hetch Hetchy Valley and stop using it as a reservoir so that it can be restored by the National Park Service

2. increase flows on the lower Tuolumne River

3. decrease storm water discharge into the bay and the ocean. Proposition F would:

1. allocate $8 million to pay for the plan, supporting a five-member task force to develop it.

2. require the task force to complete the plan by November 1, 2015

3. require the Board of Supervisors to consider placing on the ballot a Charter Amendment to approve the plan. 23.1% voted yes - 76.9% voted no the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Provides water to about 2.5 million people in San Francisco and neighboring areas Water that flows from the reservoir also generates hydroelectric power for City services They are the only city in America to build a dam in a national park Proposition F was simply the go ahead to find a plan, another vote would be
required to set any plan in motion Recycle 15% of our water by 2025

Increase renewable local groundwater use
from 3% to 19%

Improve water quality by filtering all drinking water

Decrease storm water runoff into San Francisco Bay

By 2035, consolidate San Francisco's nine reservoirs into eight and restore Hetch Hetchy Valley to Yosemite National Park

Develop renewable energy, wind and solar to offset
loss of hydropower Proposition F is a veiled attempt to destroy Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which supplies reliable, clean water to 2.6 million people in over 30
cities across the Bay Area. Hetch Hetchy is a cost-effective system that utilizes gravity to deliver water and generates clean, greenhouse-gasfree energy. This energy powers San Francisco's public schools, streetlights, MUNI, fire stations, hospitals and other vital city services. The Hetch Hetchy Water and Power system is a publicly owned, operational system, built with local funds, not State or Federal, and is maintained with local financing to benefit the public. Can store up to 117 billion gallons of drinking water Force the City to spend millions of dollars on a PLAN to destroy Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which stores 85% of the San Francisco's water and generates clean, hydroelectric power. "A Look at Hetch Hetchy." Services of San Francisco's P.U.C. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, n.d.
Web. 13 Mar. 2013. "With other pressing problems, it seems insane to even consider spending billions of dollars to drain this reservoir, restore the valley, and find replacement sources of clean water and power. We wouldn't be able to replace all the water that comes in from the dam without
relying on the already-fragile Delta. Is it more important to have an easy access dam or a National Park friendly alternative? Guardian Staff Writers. "Endorsements 2012: San Francisco Propositions." Endorsements 2012: San Francisco
Propositions. N.p., 03 Mar. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. The giant dam provides not only water but electric power: 1.7 billion kilowatt hours a year of electric power. That’s enough to meet the needs of about 414,000 homes. And it does so without burning a single drop of oil or gas or a single grain of coal dust, or smashing a single atom in a nuclear reactor. Redmond, Tim. "...Clean Energy System." Earth Island Journal. Earth Island Institute, June-July
2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2013. The reservoir is almost 100 years old Since 1987, seven major institutions have researched various aspects of restoring Hetch Hetchy Valley and all concluded that restoration is both feasible and practical. ( These studies are available on Restore Hetch Hetchy website.) San Francisco has long associated its water supply with Hetch Hetchy, but the city’s water comes from the mighty Tuolumne River system – Hetch Hetchy is just where some of that water has been stored over the last century. Hetch Hetchy is only one of nine reservoirs that comprise the San Francisco Public Utility Commission’s water system

It stores less than 25% of the system’s water Hydrologic analysis shows that it will be possible to fully meet system demands in 4 out of 5 years.

In the driest years, 20% of system demands will need to be met from additional water storage or supply resources The annual water supply replacement needed when Hetch Hetchy is restored will be less than was required for other great restoration efforts in California - at Mono Lake, the Trinity River, or the Bay Delta. By California standards, Hetch Hetchy is not a large reservoir. The storage capacity that will be lost by removing the reservoir – 360,000 acre-feet – is less than 1% of the capacity of the reservoirs in California. How does this compare to other dams, like the Hoover on the Colorado River, that stops water reaching Mexico? Now that Propsal F failed should San Francisco be pushing the City's recycle water efforts? Restore Hetch Hetchy http://www.hetchhetchy.org/ Jeopardize the water supply for 7% of California's population
Pre-determine the outcome of the plan by coming back to voters in 2016 and asking them to
destroy Hetch Hetchy (cost of as much as $10 billion) and our source of publicly-owned hydroelectricity. The Save Hetch Hetchy campaign has the support of nearly every respected
elected official in the Bay Area It would cost as much as $10 billion
that's $2,770 more per ratepayer per year! This plan could be put to better use, such as funding clinics, afterschool
programs, parks and street repair. Save Hetch Hetchy: http://savehetchhetchy.org/ If the dam is drained, Bay Area residents would face water shortages in
1 out of every 5 years Feel that local water sustainability projects already being implemented in
San Francisco are sufficient It will cost the City over $40 million annually to replace the clean power
and force municipal agencies to purchase expensive, dirty power. Ignores the Raker Act (allowed the construction of the dam), which is supposed to be
the Magna Carta of public power in the western United States,
a guarantee that cheap hydroelectricity from Hetch Hetchy
would prevent private utilities from ever controlling the grid.
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